The Englishman’s amicable Ibrox exit was confirmed on Wednesday, the striker departing with a Scottish Premiership winners’ medal and 32 goals in 74 games.
Defoe has featured once, a cameo off the bench in a win at Livingston, since Giovanni van Bronckhorst took over from Steven Gerrard. It was just his second appearance of the season.
The 39-year-old had been part of Gerrard’s coaching team before returning to solely a playing role following the change in manager.
Defoe confirmed he had an “honest conversation” with the Dutchman where he was asked if he wanted to play or coach.
He told talkSPORT: "Coming at it from a different culture he probably just thought: 'what do you want to do? Do you want to play or do you want to coach?
"And I said, ‘gaffer I want to play’, because that was always my plan from the beginning, while doing my coaching badges.
"I said I finished the season strong and I feel sharp, and he said yeah I saw that I did a full pre-season so I am ready to play to be honest.
"I have had loads of phone calls but like I said from the start of my season my plan is to continue playing until the end of the season and see what happens then.
"No disrespect to anyone else up there, but every day in training I felt I was playing with the best players in this league. So there's no need to stop just because I am 39, you stop when the body tells you to stop."